The Ultimate Guide To Using Preen Weed Preventer

Preventing weeds from taking over your garden or lawn can be arduous and frustrating. If you use manual weed control techniques, but weeds keep sprouting, a Preen weed preventer can be an effective alternative.

With Preen, you don’t have to attend to your garden regularly for hand weeding. But how do you use Preen, and will it help keep your lawn weed free?

What Is Preen?

Preen is a garden product that prevents weeds from sprouting in planting areas. Preen contains trifluralin (a commonly used herbicide in gardening) that inhibits seeds from root formation and germinating.

When applied in gardens, the Preen weed preventer serves as a pre-emergent herbicide – it stops weed seeds from germinating, but it doesn’t stop well-established weeds from growing.

Gardeners can use Preen any time after flowers or vegetables have grown several inches tall. Using Preen around your desirable seeds during planting can stop them from sprouting. After they’ve germinated and are about 2-3 inches tall, you can use Preen but not near or around your plants.

Remember, weeds sprout throughout the growing season. You can use Preen any time during your plants’ growing season, especially when the plant foliage is dry.

Reapply Preen every 9-12 weeks to ensure continued prevention. However, you may need to apply more often if you’re in an area with high rainfall.

How Do You Use Preen?

We’ve got you covered if you’re wondering how to use Preen for effective weed control. The best time to apply Preen is when the weather is dry and calm. You don’t want to apply it when it’s windy to avoid sprinkling the product on moist foliage.

As mentioned earlier, the Preen weed preventer doesn’t kill the existing weeds. Remove any weeds from your flower bed or vegetable garden before applying Preen. You can use a hand rake or garden spade to loosen the soil and pull all weeds from the ground where you’ll apply the product.

Rake the soil to make it smooth, and sprinkle your product on the soil surface at 1 ounce of the granules per 10 square feet.

Apply Preen about 2-3 inches away from your desirable plants to avoid foliage or roots from coming into contact with the product. If it accidentally touches the foliage, brush it off immediately.

Water the soil to ensure the product reaches about 1-2 inches beneath the ground. Watering will activate Preen to help it start preventing weed seeds from germinating. If you can’t access water, rake the soil gently to spread the product evenly.

Like any other herbicide, consider safety measures when applying Preen. For example, wear eye protection, gardening gloves, full clothing, and shoes as the product can irritate your eyes and skin. Ensure pets and children are out of reach when applying Preen on your garden or flower bed.

Pros of Preen Weed Preventer

Below are the benefits of the Preen weed preventer.

  • Preen prevents weed seeds from forming roots and germinating, thus ensuring your garden is free of weeds throughout the growing season.
  • Preen is easy to apply. It’s easy to evenly sprinkle the product around your garden where you want to get rid of weeds.
  • It saves time and energy. Unlike hand weeding, Preen usage saves time and energy since you won’t spend hours and a lot of energy pulling weeds around your garden.
  • It prevents dozens of common weeds from growing in your garden.
  • If appropriately used, Preen is effective in preventing weed germination, so you don’t have to use post-emergent herbicides.
  • Preen is safe to use around various gardens and hundreds of plants. However, you must use it properly to avoid contact with roots and foliage.

Cons of Preen

Some of the drawbacks of using Preen include:

  • Preen weed preventer is not a natural product but a chemical herbicide.
  • It might not be effective on all weeds.
  • Preen can irritate your skin and eyes if not appropriately handled.
  • Disturbing the soil surface after applying Preen can diminish its effectiveness.

Do You Apply Preen Before or After Mulch?

Most gardeners wonder, how do you use Preen if you’ve spread mulch on your garden? Should you apply Preen before or after mulch?

You should apply a Preen weed preventer after mulching for effective weed control. Remove weeds from your garden and spread mulch evenly to cover the soil around your plants. Sprinkle your product on top of the mulch, ensuring it doesn’t get into contact with foliage. Water the mulch to dissolve Preen granules.

The dissolved product will get into the soil and prevent weed seeds from germinating. If you don’t have access to water, rake the mulch gently for the product to reach the soil surface. Water or brush the foliage to remove any stray Preen granules that might damage or discolor your plants.

FAQs Preen Weed Preventer

When should you use Preen?

You should apply Preen on your garden or flower bed throughout the growing season, especially when the weather is dry and less windy. Wind can blow Preen to moist foliage, causing damage to your plant.

How often should you apply Preen?

You should apply Preen every 9-12 weeks to prevent weed seeds from germinating. Failing to reapply Preen will allow weed seeds to start growing since the active product in the soil tends to degrade with time.

What happens if I use too much Preen?

Using too much Preen on your garden or flower bed is wasteful and can damage your plants and the entire garden. Remember, Preen is a chemical herbicide, and when used in excess, it can cause significant harm to the environment.

What should you not use Preen on?

Don’t use Preen to eradicate existing weeds. The product serves as a pre-emergent herbicide meant to prevent weeds from germinating. You should avoid applying Preen on the foliage or near the desired plant roots.

How long does Preen last in the soil?

Active Preen lasts for about three months. After applying, the product will degrade with time, and weeds might start germinating. That’s why you should reapply Preen after it degrades.